Full Recovery

1 Samuel 30: 19

Nothing was missing: small or great, son or daughter, nor anything else that had been taken. David brought everything back.

The Jews have a ideal of peace which I hear ringing out through this verse. They call it “Shalom” and it is a very comprehensive idea, much fuller than our “Christian” idea of what peace encompasses.

The Jewish sense of peace is rich and complete. It has little to do with tranquility and calmness other than that those are the natural outcomes of fullness of peace. I have heard Shalom described as “nothing missing, nothing broken.” I absolutely love that. It blesses my soul and expands my thinking. And blessing really is the right word to be applied here because our Jewish brothers and sisters bless each other in greeting with, “Shalom.” Think of it, every time you are greeted by your Jewish kin they speak blessing over you. The blessing is, “For your life I speak nothing missing, nothing broken.”

The backstory to today’s verse is that the Amalekites invaded the territory of Judah, plundering its wealth and taking women and children as slaves. David’s wives were part of this plunder. Verse six tells us that “David found strength in the Lord his God” so he sought the Lord, our God, asking whether God was with him to go after these heathen Amalekites. The Lord answered, “Yes, go after them. You will surely recover everything that was taken from you!” (v. 7). So, David pursued them and recovered everything the enemy stole.

Do you see a parallel here with your own life? Has the enemy stolen from you? Then you, too, should seek the Lord and ask if God is with you. You know the answer in your head, but head knowledge is not what David sought when he inquired of the Lord. We, like David, must be convinced in our hearts that the Lord is with us and that He is our strong right arm, that He will fight our battles and return to us all the enemy stole.

God’s will for us is Shalom; nothing missing, nothing broken. That is the way He made us and that is the life He constructed for us. However, we have an enemy who has wasted our resources and stolen our prized possessions. We should go get what the enemy has stolen. We should make him return everything he has plundered. We would be foolish, besides unsuccessful, if we go upon this raid of the enemy’s camp without first beseeching the Lord. But that the Lord go with us, we should go not. There is no victory apart from the Lord.

God’s will is nothing missing, small or great. Be bold like David but be accompanied by the Lord or else stay home. Don’t let the enemy steal from you. Petition your Father. Hear His words and hearken to them. If He says, “Go,” then go, for He will be with you.

Faithful Servant

Titus 2: 9 – 10

Urge bondslaves to be subject to their own masters in everything, to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, not pilfering, but showing all good faith that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect.

The apostle Paul directs us to subject ourselves to the authority figures in our life. We are supposed to be subjected to them and serve them. In the context of this verse one will understand that the bondslave/master relationship most naturally converts to the employee/employer relationship in today’s society. You may be under someone for whom you do not have a lot of respect. Or your boss may not be as smart as you. None the less, God says that you are to show them respect, not argue with them but rather show faithfulness to them and the company. Why do we do this? First of all, because God said so. That will be enough for most of us. But also so that the light of God and his doctrine shall shine and God be glorified. 

I also notice that Paul again addresses that argumentative behavior which many of us contend with in our personalities. Father has not called us to be critical or contrary. The light should bless people. We also must confront a systemic problem that pervades our society but which Paul addressed 2000 years ago. That is pilfering. We are not to take the pens, paper clips and note pads of our employers but equally important is to not steal time. If we are paid to work from 8:00 to 5:00 then that means that by 8:00 we are settled into our work station and working, not on the way to the coffee machine. You should never get paid what you are worth because you should always give more value than your paycheck. Your employer should come to notice that Christian employees are a blessing because they are faithful, obedient and trustworthy.